Last night I made dinner. That's not an unusual thing. I cook dinner every night. I'm weird that way I guess. But dinner seems pretty important.
And I'm also weird because of the fact that I try to time it so dinner is on the table or close to on the table when the husband walks through the door.
Now last night the menu was enchiladas. Nothing fancy. Just burger, cheese, some taco shells and some tomato sauce with some taco seasoning in it. And some olives.
I have a love/hate relationship with taco shells. The ones I can get at the store are okay. But I don't buy them unless I plan on using them within the next week. They also have a weird texture, don't hold together well, and I don't like them after they are frozen. I guess I'm weird like that, too.
So I usually make my own shells. It takes some time, but it is totally yummy and it takes less time than it would take me to go to the store and buy them, with three kids in tow.
Yesterday I was on the ball. The burger was out and on the thaw before noon. Yes, I was ahead of the game. At about 4:30 I started in on the shells.
Let me tell you something about my children. Every single one of them likes to snitch whatever I'm making, and every single one of them likes to help in the kitchen. A certain grandma taught them to snitch--well before they were able to walk. A certain daddy encourges them to help when he's in the kitchen. I'm okay with both those things, on most occasions.
So I'm making the dough and Violet comes up, hangs on my leg, and yells, "NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" That's her subtle way of asking for a snitch.
I gave her a piece of the dough and went about my business. Soon I had the dough ready and cut into pieces sitting on our little rolling island.
And then it began.
A chair moves in on the island. "NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!"
It's the baby who is actually able to move the chair. And she gets on it and starts trying to get her fingers squashed under the rolling pin as she snitches the flour. What is it about flour?
Mom! Can I help?
It's the three-year-old. She's also up on the chair now.
And I begin to muse. I've mused about it before.
There really should be a show about moms and their quest to get dinner on the table every night. Regular moms. Regular food. On a clock.
But the meat is frozen.
And then the kids are lose (aka, the movie is over).
And someone needs their bottom wiped.
Or there is a phone ringing.
And then it boils over.
MOM!! She isn't sharing with me!!
And the bread doesn't rise.
And someone comes in with a mouth that is bleeding. (Yes, that happened last night. I swear I do watch my kids!)
And now it's cooked too long and is too crispy/brown/dry.
And the baby is crabby and just wants to be held.
And through this all there are three little people who don't understand the importance of dinner getting on the table by a certain time. This they don't understand unless dinner is NOT on the table.
Like I'm some sort of miracle worker.
And on I go. Rolling out taco shells while trying not to squish a little snitching finger. Turning shells, stirring burger. Oh, is the oven on? "Mom! Can you button this??"
Mom! Can we help?
Yes. Here, cut the olives.
Grace is old enough to have a little knife. Calla gets the pumpkin carving knife. Their instructions--cut them into three pieces. Like this. See?
And now they have a job. And I have a pile of beautiful taco shells. I feel like I'm in the home stretch with just a few more hurdles to get over.
Violet gets to watch me grate the cheese. And of course she's gonna snitch.
All the while I'm praying that they don't cut themselves. I made it through without squishing little snitching fingers. Phew!
And onto the assembly. Calla is happy watching. Violet is busy with the grated cheese. Grace is putting cheese in taco shells. I'm putting meat in them and rolling them up.
We're a good team tonite. And all the while I'm wondering if there is a camera rolling somewhere. Because if there was, I'd be in the running tonite. In spite of the bloody mouth.
All the enchiladas are rolled and in the pan. The sauce, cheese and olives have been placed on top. Oven is heated.
We're on track. Fifteen minutes to go time!
Girls, set the table, please!
I was going to take a picture of the finished product, but somewhere I got distracted. So you'll just have to imagine a pan of beautiful enchiladas. They really were beautiful.
When Brent got home he was glad (as always) to see dinner so close to being done.
Do we have sour cream?
How did I know you were going to ask that? OH! Because you ALWAYS ask that!
I don't think he realizes what it takes to get dinner on the table sometimes. Only people who do it every day with an extra 20 pounds hanging off their leg yelling for a snitch and a couple other "helpers" would understand. But then he put it all in perspective.
Without dinner, there would be no rest of the night.
He's so right.
After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.